Legio Wargames

freemans farm (2)

The Battle of Freeman's Farm, 1777

Commander-in-Chief General John Burgoyne 4 CPs


Fraser’ Brigade (Right Wing)  Simon Fraser 4 CPs

Grenadiers            6 stands regulars. elite troops

Light Infantry            6 stands light infantry, elite troops

Jaegers            4 stands, skirmishers, rifle armed, good troops

24th Foot     6 stands regulars, good troops

Loyalists                        4 stands light infantry, average troops

Mohawks/Canadians  4 stands, skirmishers, raw troops

Royal Artillery     1 field gun,


Hamilton's Brigade (Centre)  James Hamilton 3 CPs

9th Foot 6 stands regulars, average troops

20th Foot 8 stands regulars, good troops

21st Fusiliers          6 stands regulars, good troops

62nd Foot       6 stands regulars, average troops

Royal Artillery 1 Field Gun


von Riedesel’s Brigade  Baron von Riedesel 3 CPs

Regt von Riedesel 6 stands regulars, good troops

Regt Specht 6 stands regulars, average troops

Regt Rhetz 6 stands regulars, average troops

Mill Creek

Road A

Road B

Road C

Road D

Freeman's Farm

Light Infantry

Light Infantry


Indians & Loyalists









Morgan's Rifles

Commander-in-Chief Benedict Arnold, 5 Command Points


Morgan’s Brigade  Daniel Morgan, 4 Command Points

Morgan’s Riflemen     8 stands Skirmishers. rifle armed, good troops

Dearborn's Light Infantry  4 stands Light Infantry, good troops


Poor’s Bde   Enoch Poor, 3 CPs

2nd New York       6  stands continentals, good troops

4th New York       6  stands continentals, average troops

1st New Hampshire 8  stands continentals, average troops

2nd New Hampshire 6  stands continentals, good troops

3rd New Hampshire 8  stands continentals, average troops

Connecticut Militia        12 stands militia, raw troops


Learned’s  Brigade.  Ebenezer Learned, 3 CPs

1st NY & 1st Canadians    10 stands Continentals, good troops

Massachusetts Regiments    8  stands Continentals, average troops

Victory Conditions:  Game ends at nightfall (End of Turn 8)


Decisive British Victory:  5+ Victory Points; Tactical Victory: 3-4 Victory Points. Anything else is an American Victory.


No Formed Enemy north of Freeman's Farm          +6

No more than 2 formed enemy N. of Freeman's Farm  +2

Arnold or Morgan killed                        +1 each

Each American unit 2/3 strength or below*           +1

Each British unit 2/3 strength or below*                   -2

Each Gun lost or destroyed                          -1

Fraser or Burgoyne killed                                 - 2 each


*Loyalists, Indians and Militia do not count

Special Rule.


Morgan's Rifles had a reputation for picking off officers and artillerymen. If a leader has to test for being engaged by Morgan's Rifles he is automatically killed on a result of '1' without a second modifying roll. Artillery take 2 DPs rather than the usual 1 for each hit scored by the Rifles.

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Historical Background


The defeat of the British at Saratoga is widely held to be a turning point in the American War of Independence as it led to the intervention of the French on the American side.


This scenario re-creates the first of the two battles at Saratoga when on 19 September 1777 General John Burgoyne attempted to flank the entrenched American position on Bemis Heights. Benedict Arnold, probably  one of the best American tacticians but sadly lacking in political awareness, pushed his commander Horatio Gates to allow him to block the British advance. Gates grudgingly allowed Arnold to use his own division but prevented him from joining the action and refused to commit any other troops. The result was a stalemate. At the end of the day, thanks to the timely reinforcements from von Riedesel's Hessian brigade, the British held the field but at a cost that they could not sustain.  

American Forces

The Game


This scenario was developed to be played using Andy Callan's Loose Files and American Scramble rules. The scale is 1 figure = approximately 15 men and it was played out using my collection of 20mm plastics - a mix of Airfix and Revell.


The battle involves relatively small forces and can easily be played out using any rules. The deployment map opposite is scaled for a 6 x 4 foot table with battalions ranging from 4 - 8 stands, each stand mounting 3 figures on a 40 x 20 mm base operating 2 ranks deep. This of course can easily be modified to fit whatever rules and basing arrangements you prefer.

British Forces

American Deployment. and Reinforcements


Morgan’s Brigade deployed on-table as per the map. The Rifles may be split into two units.


Poor's Brigade enters in column at the start of the 1st turn on Road C and/or D. The Militia should be split into two units.


Benedict Arnold remains off table unless released by his commander-in-chief General Horatio Gates. This requires a result of 6 on a D6 which is rolled in the Command Phase of each turn after the third.


Reinforcements.  If on table, Arnold may send a request back to Gen Gates requesting reinforcements.  This request takes 2 CPs to write and send.  The possible responses from Gen Gates which will arrive the following turn are (take 2 CPs to read):


Die Roll 1-2. If you are pressed too hard, withdraw to our entrenchments.  I cannot spare reinforcements at this time.


Die Roll 3-4. The Massachusetts Regts will arrive shortly (dice: 1-3  arrives turn after next; 4-6 arrives next turn).


Die Roll 5. The NY/Canadian Regt will arrive shortly (dice: 1-3  arrives turn after next; 4-6 arrives next turn).


Die Roll 6.  The NY/Canadian Regt has been sent and will arrive next turn. The Massachusetts Regts will arrive the turn after next.


Modify Die Roll by Following:


At least 1 British C Class unit or higher (not Mohawks) retired or routed with no American units other than Militia having been routed so far: +1


One or more American non-Militia units retired or routed without any British/German units having been retired or routed: -1.


Brigadier Learned may come on table with any unit(s) of his Brigade. Any reinforcements enter in column on Road C and/or D.

British Deployment and Reinforcments


Fraser’s Brigade is deployed in line and/or skirmish order as per the map. The artillery is limbered and on the road.  


Hamilton's Brigade is on Road A in column with the artillery limbered. Burgoyne is with them.


Reinforcements: On Turn 5 (Command Phase) dice for Von Riedesel’s Brigade:


1-2. One Battalion arrives the following turn

3-4 Two Battalions arrive the following turn

5     Two Battalions arrive immediately

6       Two Battalions arrive immediately, one Battalion arrives the following turn


All arrive in column on Road B

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Hamilton's column advancing along the road

Indians and Loyalists skirmishing with the rebels across Mill Creek

Dearborn's Light Infantry hold Mill Creek as the Continentals move into position past Freeman's Farm

The 2nd New Hampshire hold fast against the British Grenadiers while the Jaegers chase off the Connecticut Militia on the American left flank

Hamilton's Brigade crosses Mill Creek under fire from the Connecticut Milita and Morgan's Rifles

Von Riedsel leads his battalion against the 2nd New York Continentals but it is too late to save the day. He only brought one battalion with him and the British had made no headway in the centre.

How did the game play out?

Initially Morgan's Rifles easily threw back the Indians and Loyalists and held the line in the centre giving time for the Continentals to deploy.


The British pushed hard on their right, routing the Connecticut Militia there and advancing quickly. The Grenadiers, however, became disordered in the forest and they were forced back by the 2nd New Hampshire who also beat off an attack by the British Light Infantry although Brigadier Learned was killed in the action.


In the centre Morgan's Rifles picked off General Burgoyne, killing him and delaying the British crossing of Mill Creek.


Although Gates did not release Arnold or any other reinforcements, the Americans on-table were successful in halting the British advance. When the British player rolled for his reinforcements von Riedesel only brought one battalion with him and by the time he arrived the New York Continentals were deployed and ready. As night fell the Americans still had five units north of Freeman's farm and they had suffered less casualties than the British.


The result, therefore, was a clear Rebel victory.